2016-17 Feature Navigator program recipient David Vincent Smith will be an attachment on director Ben Young’s sci-fi thriller EXTINCTION, which films in Serbia.
Screenwest’s Feature Navigator program is a yearlong development initiative designed to provide a stepping stone for emerging West Australian directors as they prepare themselves for West Coast Visions, a $750,000 production investment fund for up and coming creatives. With his Feature Navigator funding, Smith has taken residency at the East Perth Creative Hub and has been focusing on story development of his projects. Learning through attachments is also an integral and strategic part of the program.
On EXTINCTION Smith will join Young during pre-production and will shadow him throughout the entire shoot. One of Smith’s key objectives is to learn how a director manages the transition from art-house to a large scale studio production.
“Seeing the big picture, a film being made on such a large scale first hand, will allow me to better understand how to balance my voice as a filmmaker with the demands and expectations of a commercial studio,” said Smith.
Smith’s steady persistence and hustle has enabled him to “earn each frame and develop a sharp intuition,” something he hopes will lead him on a similar path to Young.
Young and Smith’s career paths have similarities with both creatives establishing themselves with music videos and writing and directing award winning shorts to hone their craft en route to their first feature.
Young’s debut feature HOUNDS OF LOVE, which he wrote and directed, will be in Australian cinemas 1 June 2017 after a hugely successful run on the international festival circuit including making its world premiere at Venice Days, winning Best Director at Brussels and having its North American premiere at SXSW.
Rikki Lea Bestall, Director Development at Screenwest said, “I’m excited that David gets the experience with a talented local like Ben. Because the Feature Navigator program allows Screenwest to tailor professional and project development support it provides the best and most meaningful outcomes for the director.”
EXTINCTION is a sci-fi thriller in which a man must save his family from an otherworldly phenomenon. The film stars Michael Peña (ANT-MAN, CRASH) and Lizzy Caplan (NOW YOU SEE ME 2, ALLIED), written by Eric Heisserer (ARRIVAL, LIGHTS OUT), Spenser Cohen (upcoming MOONFALL) and Bradley Caleb Kane (STARZ’s BLACK SAILS). EXTINCTION will be produced by Todd Lieberman & David Hoberman of Mandeville (BEAUTY AND THE BEST, THE FIGHTER). Mandeville’s Alexander Young will executive produce, alongside Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake, Erin Westerman and Kelli Konop of Good Universe (DON’T BREATHE). Universal Pictures will release EXTINCTION on January 26, 2018.